30.7.07

You cause it, you pay for it

When I first saw an apartment I liked it was priced at 120 thousand Jordanian Dinars, today I saw the same apartment sold for 320 thousand JD, which reminded of an incident a few summers ago when I went to buy Tomatoes, they were priced at 10p/Kg today the same store sells them for 50p/Kg. You could teach me about inflation all you want but the time frame I am talking about is not what you think it is, unless, of course, you do reside in Amman.

The time frame is two years and we are not located in 2003 Brazil, (although in certain sectors we beat the 77% rate as mentioned earlier) I remember reading somewhere that from 1964 through 1994, the accumulated inflation rate in Brazil fetched 1,000,000,000,000,000 % (that´s one quatrillion percent) !! This fantastic figure is not an estimate; it was calculated by Joelmir Beting, a well respected Brazilian journalist, based on the official inflation numbers.

As I said, we aren't Brazil, we are Jordan were the inflation rate is controlled through control of prices of commodities and especially necessities. Water, electricity, fuel and cement were until recently all controlled, all but cement still are.

This saved the government the effort of trying to control what i call the inverted up loop. Once they let the cement price go free, so, naturally due to inflation and commercially due to LaFarge's monopoly of the region's cement, the prices went nuts as they did worldwide, the prices increased steadily with demand.

Which brings me to my the real point, the demand increased because of the influx of Iraqis moving in to the country, the estimate in about a half a million Iraqis which means an average of 100,000 apartments, this is what is called unnatural growth. If prices of apartments and shops and land went up, followed by the price of fuel, which runs everything in this country, then we can guesstimate that if the Iraqis left the countries the demand will decrease and prices of apartments will go down. The government chose another route, to build subsidized housing for the lowest income in Jordan, this subsidy I believe should be paid by Iraq, whether in terms of oil or otherwise.

I therefore, agree that the Iraqis caused inflation and they should either pay for it or leave, two ways to deflate it. I think that our infrastructure is being stretched thin by this influx, and we should address it head on.

28.7.07

No Taxation without representation

I believe in this motto as a general guide for any tax system, Because we, as Ammanites, pay an increasingly unrealistic tax-rate for services rendered and not, we should be active in the upcoming elections, although I have certain comments about the state of the greater Amman Municipality or in other words the "amaneh".

It seems unrealistic that we pay the "amaneh" for pavement but we do them our selves, that we have the highest pothole per meter ratio, while the amaneh has the highest income of any goverment agency. That we still don't have an efficient numbering system in Amman, although the system is in place, the municipality has not done anything to make it viable. Only recently have the buildings on main streets received decent visible numbering. They could enforce a test on all taxi drivers to memorize the street names, or at least on courier companies. I would accept any positive step in Amman.

The other thing is that half of the council of the "amaneh" is elected while the other is appointed which makes little room for the demands of people, I would accept as a first step the Mayor, to be appointed while the whole council elected.

26.7.07

They pull me back in

"Just when I thought I was out--they pull me back in!" That's my feeling about Palestinian politics, I could spend obscene amount of time trying to avoid reading about it, but if a spend a minute reading any title I get confused on why exactly do I want to avoid it.

Palestinian politics is getting more and more complicated every day, the people are suffering yet more, their threshold is continuously being tested and unfortunately no one is present to give them the results of those tests.

Hamas won the election and I wrote in 30-1-2006 that Hamas winning is not necessarily good for the Palestinians, if anything it is bad, time proved I am right in a sense, but it was expected, only a minority of serious observers of Palestinian politics thought that Hamas had the power to tell the people of the world that they are looking for peace through blowing up people.

International opinion is against Hamas is almost unified, they believe that Israel is to recognised and that a unity government that recognizes all the previous accords and agreements is to be placed. This is like telling Hamas: "You won, you get to participate in the same kind of government you were ushered in to throw out, and you get to loose all the rational that brought you in, if you agree, you are done, no one will elect you again, if you don't then we will starve your people."

Hamas has a lot to be blamed for, the Coup d'√Čtat in Gaza and the starvation of the Palestinians are among the most visible while there are more vague ones, I would honestly call it a destabilization of the elections in the region, look at Egypt and elsewhere, the effects will cause people to be afraid to vote for Islamic candidates. I can almost guarantee that the next elections in Jordan, the municipal elections, are going to called unfair and undemocratic with calls at forgery and similar claims. My guess is Islamic Action Front (IAF), no one will vote for them because people fear another Hamas in Jordan.

6.7.07

Yet Another Inch and Momuntem Builds

When I started my diet, I didn't think my weightloss target was realistic, but when I looked at my brother Rami, who maintained a very healthy body, I was always struck by envy, I don't want to be as big as him, but I want to have as little fat as he does in his body, today my waist is 42" and therefore I feel closer to my target.

I don't feel bothered by my new eating habits, if anything, I feel refreshed, and the continous shrink in my size doesn't hurt, although I now believe that I lost alot of fat, I would still like to see it on the scale.

4.7.07

Thank God for Science

I really am grateful that I live in this time, yet I despise having to live in it, I wish I lived in a simpler time but I don't know what I would do without science, I mean i read books that are published, transported and delivered in such a maze of technology and hyperactivity that I could spend an hour talking about the stages a book goes through technology. I am addcited to books, so I am therefore addicted to technology.

I am grateful that a book talking about the science of the human body is become a bestseller even if it is written speaking to a 12-year-old. I am talking about "You: On A Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management"

I am also talking about alot of advancements that not only popularized knowledge and made it more available, it also made it more accessible. I hate the fact that know-it-alls these days follow the saying "Jack of all trades, master of none" because of the dedication required of mastering one.

2.7.07

Mars as big as the moon?

How can people be so gullible? I have received numerous e-mails talking about august 27th at 12:30 PM as a chance to see mars close enough to be as big to the naked eye as the moon and that this will only happen again in 2778 or something to that extent.

If that did happen it will probably pull the gravity of earth out of balance and probably derail the the earth off its orbit around the sun and maybe even cause it to burn up or freeze over when changing the proximity of earth to the sun.

I wasn't shocked that NASA put up this page and the good news for me is the events they talk about in the in 2003, I witnessed them in Canada back then.